Wills & Estates, Private Executorship Services, October 25, 2023 - by Lypkie Henderson

Executor Duties in Alberta: Responsibilities and Legal Considerations

Being named an estate executor or “personal representative” can be overwhelming. At a difficult time that is often still defined by fresh grief, administering an estate creates additional challenges—especially if you are unsure what to do next. In Alberta, executors have many duties and responsibilities. Before moving forward, let’s explore what those duties can include and why you may wish to speak with a probate lawyer in Edmonton.

Manage funeral arrangements, if necessary.

In certain situations, you may be responsible for making the arrangements with a funeral service. Since the deceased’s estate must pay out for these services, you will also need to make arrangements to disburse the appropriate amount of money. This may involve coordinating with banks and furnishing death certificates to allow for the release of funds to a funeral home. Banks may require a grant of probate to release these funds.

Locating the will

As the executor of an estate, you’re responsible for carrying out the deceased’s final wishes. To begin that duty, you must determine the location of the deceased’s last will and testament. After locating a will and determining its contents, you will need to apply for a grant of probate in Alberta to begin the formal process of legally validating and executing a will. In estates where the individual died without a will, you must file forms for a grant of Administration rather than for probate.

Both processes can be lengthy and complicated, so you may not want to tackle it alone—there are key deadlines to meet.

General administration of the deceased’s estate

Depending on the situation, it can take months or even years to finalize and carry out all the duties of an executor. For example, you will need to spend time determining what debts and liabilities the individual left behind. You must oversee the estate’s payment of these obligations to the fullest extent possible before you can begin making other distributions. There are tax implications that you will need to determine as well. You may also need to look after the deceased’s business interests by designating temporary management support, or you may need to manage the transfer of investments based on the terms of a will.

After debts and taxes, you will need to look after dividing assets between family members and others in accordance with the terms of the will. Ideally, this should be a smooth process—but contentious estates aren’t uncommon, and you may have to navigate issues with family.

Finding help for carrying out your duties

Ultimately, there are dozens of different individual duties to navigate as an executor or personal representative for an estate. It can be overwhelming, especially during a time of loss. You don’t have to try to figure it all out alone. With a probate lawyer in Edmonton from Lypkie Henderson on your side, you can breathe easier and trust in qualified, experienced help to aid you in achieving the final resolution of the estate. Speak with us today to learn more about how we can help lighten your burden.

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